A Malaysian MP has urged the government to launch a “homosexual rehabilitation centre” in order to stop the “rampant” spread of homosexuality.

“We have to find a solution to combat these activities from getting rampant just like the efforts we take to combat drugs,” MP Datuk Baharum Mohamad told Parliament on Wednesday.

“A study has found that, right now, three out of 10 men in Malaysia are gay. This is scary,” he claimed, although it’s not clear what study he was referring to.

Human rights groups last year called on the Malaysian authorities to put a stop to the practice, in certain schools, of forcing male students – some reported to be as young as 12 – into camps to “cure” them of homosexuality and feminine behaviour.

Homosexuality is criminalised under federal law in Malaysia with punishments including fines, whippings and imprisonment of up to 20 years.

In November last year the Malaysian police banned the annual Seksualiti Merdeka “sexual diversity” festival, which had been held since 2008.

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